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MAULDIN, S.C. -- The produce team at regional chain Bi-Lo here is planning to do something special with the more than $36,000 it raised for United Way during an 8-hour produce sale last September, with assistance from its vendors. The group will build a Habitat for Humanity house named after one of its own: Walter, the fictional "picky produce expert" who stocks fruits and vegetables at Bi-Lo supermarkets.
Construction is slated to begin this week, with completion set for mid-July. A single mother with three children will be moving into the home in Fountain Inn, S.C. by late summer, the company said.
In Greenville County, where the home will be built, over 12 percent of the population lives under the poverty level, making home ownership nearly impossible for these families, according to Bi-Lo.
"Building a Habitat House is a perfect example of the United Way's theme, 'It happens here, so it matters here,'" said Dean Cohagan, president and c.e.o. of Bi-Lo/Bruno's, in a statement. "Our goal is to eventually have several Walter's homes, built by our teammates right here where our business, our customers, and our families call home."
Bi-Lo/Bruno's operates 340 stores in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida. In 2005 Bi-Lo was among the top five contributing businesses in the Greenville County United Way campaign.